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Police: Boat Carrying Marijuana Lands in Palos Verdes; 3 Arrested

The boat landed in Malaga Cove shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Updated at 8:45 p.m. Tuesday

Nearly a dozen federal, state and local police departments chased and apprehended three people suspected of trying to smuggle large bales of marijuana into Palos Verdes Estates Tuesday evening, authorities said.

A 25-foot boat with "a large amount" of marijuana was intercepted on rocks off Malaga Cove in Palos Verdes Estates about 5 p.m., according to Sgt. Steve Eberhard with the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department.

Shortly before that, Eberhard said the police department received a call from the Coast Guard saying they were pursuing a boat headed towards flat rock and Malaga Cove. When the suspects landed on shore, police immediately arrested the men who were described by Eberhard as "wet."

"Obviously, the men had been in the water," Eberhard said.

Three suspects were arrested by police without incident and were then turned over to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Eberhard said.

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station San Diego and Customs & Border Protection aircraft originally tracked the boat moving at high speed going north, according to the Coast Guard. A Coast Guard Cutter and a 45-foot Response Boat from Coast Guard Station Los Angeles were also launched to pursue the boat.

Redondo Beach police and units from Redondo Baywatch were also involved in the interdiction effort.

Eberhard said that while the boat was the third smuggler boat to land in Palos Verdes Estates, it is the first boat containing drugs.

The Palos Verdes Peninsula, however, is no stranger to boats attempting to smuggle contraband and even humans into California.

In November 2011, 13 people were arrested after a boat carrying 4,000 pounds of marijuana was intercepted at Abalone Cove. Multiple "panga" boats carrying human cargo and drugs have also washed ashore along the peninsula.

According to authorities, Palos Verdes is a popular landing spot for smugglers as the steep cliffs and rocky shoreline offer relative seclusion for illicit activity.

“They pull up, there’s a cliffy area, they’re using that as cover,” Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations in L.A. told Patch in March 2012.

Keep refreshing this page for further updates on the story.

—City News Service contributed to this report.

FlyingTooLow October 31, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Thankfully, these desperadoes will appear in court to answer for these heinous offenses. Thus, saving America's women and children from degenerates such as these. This is pathetic. Law enforcement needs to re-direct its focus on crimes... to those that are REAL crimes. I spent 5 years in Federal Prison for a marijuana offense. While I was there, I watched armed bank robbers come and go in as little as 20 months. After 3 years 'behind the wall,' I pointed this out to the parole board. Their response: “You must understand, yours was a very serious offense.” How do you respond to that mentality? I laughed about the parole panel's comment for 2 more years (as I still sat in prison), then wrote my book: Shoulda Robbed a Bank No, it is not a treatise on disproportionate sentences . I wrote about the escapades that led to my incarceration. I admit, I had a great time. No one was injured, no one was killed, firearms were not involved...there were no victims. We were Americans pursuing happiness in our own way. Harming no one...nor their property. That’s my contribution to helping point out just how ludicrous our pot laws truly are. I would be honored by your review.
Dave Lindop November 06, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Completely agree with you, it is pathetic that scarce resources are poured into this "crime". will check out your book and review on Amazon. Dave
FlyingTooLow November 06, 2012 at 05:58 PM
@Dave Lindop... A million thanks. I truly hope that you enjoy it and look forward to your review. Warning: the book contains some pretty strong language, Hugh Yonn

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